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Everything posted by FabulousFoodBabe

  1. Knife, without a doubt. I hate it when people even touch my knives and if I had a duck, I'm sure I'd tell them to keep their hands off that, too.
  2. Some companies have employees cafeterias with cold and hot buffets - Saks and Google are 2 examples. ← I figured as much, but was hoping someone would tellme it was, um,not that. So that means I was a pizza chef when I was 16? Kewl! I had no idea.
  3. She's about par for the course, and the people who take her classes,I'm sure,know no better. She'll get a lot of mileage out of the mean old Brit who is just not understanding her genius. Kind of like Simon and the American Idol wannabes. I'd be humiliated if I were her, but 90% of the culinary instructors I meet are so lame that I don't think they get it,either. So, if this means that Gordon Ramsay will continue to point out that this person has her head up her mannerly heinie and shake his head that she has the audacity to charge people to teach them the same, goodie for me. I hope. All Iknow is, I'm watching for as long as this woman is on! Selfishly, Fabby who knows this mean-girl attitude will bite her in her own heinie! PS -- Corporate buffet chef? WTF is that?
  4. I was half-watching this episode when the "Culinary instructor" was yipping about being old (what is she, 41?). And I now will love Ramsay forever for calling her out about her complete lack of credentials for being a cooking teacher. don't worry, I won't get back on my soapbox about this .. but for god's sake. And to get all sassy with him -- I teach manners, too? -- means that she needs to get some instruction on that as well. that said? I don't know if I'll watch any more. My husband came running over to see the "pretty girl who can cook," and said, "is that her?" LOL!
  5. because I'm traveling solo, and it's work/study for me. I'm taking a week-long course at the CIA Greystone in June and one in August. Mr. Foodbabe will be home supervising dogs and kids. I'm looking for places anyone has actually stayed or knows. Yes, there are suggestions on the CIA website, and yes, I've been to Napa and Sonoma and have stayed there. It's too far away -- I'm looking for a nice, clean, quiet place, close to the campus. Any help is very much appreciated.
  6. Champagne comes only from the Champagne region in France. None of this Methode Champagnoise (sp?) stuff. Peeps are yellow marshmallow chickens. They are not white, pink or purple. They are not teddy bears, bunnies, heart-shapes or trees. They are not flavored with anything but Peeps Flavoring -- no ginger or vanilla. A martini does not come in varieties. It is a Martini: gin, vermouth, ice, and onion/olive/peel. That's all. Appletinis, lemon drop martinis, espressotinis, chocolatinis are not Martinis, no matter what Sandra Lee says. And last but not least -- Caesar Salads do not have canned anchovy filets atop the leaves, nor do they have grilled chicken, shrimp, beef, or bacon bits. Glad I got that off my chest!
  7. Beg and ye shall receive, Fressie. I forgot about the sidekick who was added: Puffboy. He's a Puff Adder. Please note the anatomically correct pupils, and tails. Please ignore the un-anatomically correct arms.
  8. Sigh. SIGH. It's been a heck of a few days and I'm sorry to say that no phots of the party were taken. My "photographer" forgot to do it, she was working so hard. So you'll have to take my word for it, a good time was had by all. Besides the leak in the ceiling and an issue with the kid (he's fine), we've had a brief cable outage (ack! Giants Game!) and two basset hound escapes. We're all coming down from the past week and looking forward to Duke/Carolina on Wednesday. Food for the party: Beef tenderloin with ancho chile mayonnaise (ancho, mayo, lime juice and a bit of minced garlic); poached salmon with tarragon/dill mustard; chicken and pasta salad with feta, kalamata olives, and tomatoes. No hors' doeuvres were left over! We had Weenies Wellington , sea bass tartare, lavender goat cheese with chives, manchego with membrillo, and a few other cheeses. Shrimp was served with cocktail sauce and a sweet-hot mustard sauce (equal parts honey-red wine vinegar-dijon). Quesadillas rounded out the offerings, and my husband was very very happy indeed. Servers left at midnight and a few good old friends stuck around to have a quiet drink with us. I htink we had forty people crammed into three rooms! to any Bostonians, I say: In Your Face! To the rest of you, I apologize again for the no-photos, and thank you for your patience this week. I think the puppy will be Dr. Nigel Brewster, and we'll call him Nigel. Mr. Foodbabe told me that "nigel" is no longer off limits. I forget -- who wins the prize for the best puppy name?
  9. thank you, Miss Pierogi and Miss Goddess. You deserve this kitchen. If you are ever in Chappaqua, you will call and come cookin', won't you? Please? To Fresser: So you are saying now that I look like a strawberry? Round, seedy, with an adorable but somewhat frond'y haircut. HMPH. Stomping my elegantly clad foot. Elegantly clad in a pair of black socks. Last night was an absolute blast! And while I'm looking for my camera ... We have a plumbing leak, which is going to cause a wee bit of delay in picture-posting. The leak is coming out of one of the ceiling lights and yes, is in an area where plumbing was run for the renovation. Since the contractor dealt with our last issue (the disposal fell out! I'm still laughing about it) in about 15 minutes, I've no doubt this will be resolved soon. I have things to do along those lines. Back soon, I hope, Fabster
  10. Mine are solid, and were built to hold what I'm putting on them (KitchenAid, waffle iron, food processor, meat grinder), and what I intend to put on 'em (sous vide'er). They don't wobble at all. It has taken a little practice but I'm close to addicted. If I had to do it again, I'd have a fold-out work space that came up with them. I have no idea if it's even possible, though. Because it's up about 20 inches, over the top of my tallest pot. Stock pots, reductions, etc., can be slid to the back of the range after filling, and the things I need immediately are right up front. (This is part of the beauty of six burners ... ) Yep, the bottom gets gunky. I do the deep cleaning for the whole range every week, and clean the underside of the shelf at the end of every day, whether or not I use the grill. Edited to add: The shelf is only about 8-10" deep, so it really doesn't get in the way of taller people who use the stove.
  11. This is one of the things that makes me happiest about this kitchen -- the range. On the left you see three pots of water set for boiling shrimp and pasta. On the right, my saute pans with sausage in one, and sauce for the pizza in the other. I keep dishes above (the lights also keep food warm). In the center left is a griddle and on the right, a grill. Right now, the two full-sized ovens have sheet pans with salmon and beef on them. The beef has been resting overnight with salt, pepper, some garlic, and fresh rosemary (a rosemary tree was the kitchen-warming gift from my friend Cathy ) Salmon is farmed king salmon in a little veg stock, bay leaf, leek leaves, and nothing else. It's heaven, really. I'll be back when the party is ready to go, when my helpers get here.
  12. Excellent question! They are based on the full-sized, "hotel" pan. A three-pan is 1/3 of the hotel pan, a six-pan is 1/6, and a 9-pan is 1/9. They come in different depths, too. Half-sized pans are simply, half-pans. Yes! "Successories," I think, was the original. Our favorite is a beautiful photograph of Supersized French Fries that says, "Ambition: Not Everyone Grows Up To Be An Astronaut." They have BitterSweets for Valentine's Day, and a Customer Disservice department. Oh, do. We love them. Our sons have them in their room, too. Aint' that the truth? And, they have "Residences" there, and people live in them. On purpose. And they're not cheap, either.
  13. Foofing is the process by which one has a "foofed" appearance. Foofy hair, all foofed up. Etc. I'm still smarting over being called buttah. Okay. It wasn't all foofing today -- I made things. Some I will show you: You're all pretty sharp, so I think you know what these are. I won't show you the cocktail sauce, the sweet/hot sauce for the shrimp, or the herbed mustard/mayo ... or the herbs I chopped. And chopped, and chopped -- because it's kind of dull. When I finish the sauces tomorrow, I'll give recipes if you want 'em. I will show you my lunch (breakfast was the usual -- cappuccino, wheat toast with peanut butter). I had some leftovers from last night. This was the venison; the round thing is really beautiful and pink in the center. It's herbed quinoa in a lettuce leaf wrap. The long things are fennel slaw, and the venison was really, really nice. Kid even left cherry sauce with it! I ate the leavin's of my cassoulet. It's mostly black-eyed peas, but there was enough lamb shank in there to make me remember the original dish with a happy sigh. I'm sorry that my personal meals are so dull! I'll try to improve on that in a little bit -- I'm making pizza. While the pizza dough rests, I'm going to prep two whole tenderloins for roasting. Toodles!
  14. I was looking forward to your interpretation, Fressie. LOL -- my younger brother used to call it my "Day of Ugly!" You are correct, m'dear. I'm pretty low maintenance in general, but I do like mah haircuts. Greasy, sweaty, yellowish? Thanks a lot, pal. Next time you need someone to help you find just the right garter belt, I'll be busy.
  15. My to-do list today: -Trim, tie, season roasts for tomorrow -Pick up wine, booze, salmon sides, and sea bass for the tartare -Find something that compares even a little bit to Rainbeau Ridge goat cheese -Gather up some herbs -Make sauces -Gougere -Rolls -Bread for the family -Pizza dough (Friday is pizza night at our house; Dave and I started this when we were newlyweds and both traveled almost every week; we'd watch Miami Vice and eat pizza with our firstborn, Bogart the Basset Boy). Oh, wait. I digressed. I also have a foofing at noon. Seriously: If at this point I can't prep for 40 in three hours' time, I should hang it up forever.
  16. It was obvious that we needed a new kitchen when we first saw the house. It appeared to have been an afterthought, stuck in a corner of an otherwise beautiful open floor plan. The cabinets were laminate that had been turning to yellow for years. There was no downdraft for the cooktop. Counterspace? As if! I was still getting my arms around the idea of not having to move in two years, and I kind of resisted the renovation idea. I remembered too well the Atlanta renovation, which I wound up having to contract myself, and it was just not something I wanted to repeat. But I came around the day I met the architects who did the entire project for us, including securing the most amazing contractor I could expect. By that time, I'd gotten through CIA (the government agency, not the culinary school*), and was ready to do something with my life. Since teaching, consulting, testing/developing, and writing, I can do until I drop dead at 105, I decided to make that the next chapter of my life. I've been teaching formally and informally for years, here and there, and am always asked for cooking classes. This is my kitchen "stadium," I guess, set up for a home and family, for entertaining comfortably, to work for me, and to teach classes. One of the cool things about this, is the center island. It's 10x4 feet of FireSlate (which I absolutely love), with a raised counter (you should see how the designer made this float ... very cool!). We have cameras trained on the workspace and on the range, so whatever I'm doing can be seen by everyone. We have four cameras because this also goes to a split screen, and it can only go full screen, 2/4 or 4/4. It's pretty cool. The island has some interesting storage in it; we have those counter-height pullouts for big appliances (because I refused to have an appliance garage ), and lots of open storage on the work -side. I'm sure it'll be neater another day Maybe. This is the other view of the island and work area. There's lots of storage on this side of the island; things I don't need often like chemicals for the spa, boxes of utensils for the classes, etc. BTW, I'm on the schedule again for the Chappaqua Continuing Education program, and will teach courses in Chinese (Mandarin and Szechuan), Crepes, and Bread-Baking. I've also taught basics methods for roasting/braising, vegetables, etc; sushi, sauce making, pasta, and the requisite pizza (mostly for kids' sleepover parties). I also do cooking class dinner parties. So. I keep myself up to date on methods, I practice as much as I can, and plan to spend 3-4 weeks each summer 'reeducating' myself, as a stage somewhere. then I can come back and teach it to my students. I've been in the industry for most of my life and learn somethiing every time I stop to pay attention. And now, the party! (*Edited to add: Not really, it was the culinary school but I bet you knew that, didn't you? )
  17. Dinner at 42 last night, on the 42nd floor of the Ritz Carlton White Plains. It was wonderful. Great service, great food, nice treatment for the kid. Mr. Foodbabe asked me not to photograph but I remember what we all had. Kid started with the caviar sampler (California, California Estate, and Uruguayan). Came with little brioche toasts. Interesting presentation: sour cream smeared on the plate and choped capers scattered on top of it. It was his first sturgeon caviar (he's had salmon roe and tobiki with his sushi). He said it was good, "but geez, $95?" (Our waiter made sure we knew the price before we let him have it. But what they hey, Mr. FB only turns 50 once.) I had foie gras with pineapple and licorice; I get it every time we eat out because I can see the day where only outlaws can have foie gras and I'm not sure I'm ready to go that way. The Birthday Boy had beef tartare, which was served under some crisp potato straws, on top of a poached egg yolk, with little egg white pearls scattered around. He loved it, too. Entrees were venison with cherry (for the kid), with quinoa (which he left for me). Mr. FB had arctic char with fingerling puree, and I had lamb cassoulet. It had a nice piece of lamb tenderloin, some braised shoulder, black-eyed peas, salsify, and turnips. It was kind of a deconstructed version and very very good. We shared a bottle of Hartford Pinot Noir and agreed that when it's recommended, it should be pointed out that it doesn't come from Hartford, CT. Desserts flowed and flowed. I had nuts and chocolate (which included brittle, ice cream, a small bombe, and sweet pastes), Mr. FB had sorbets (part of the reason he looks like he's 25), and my son had the creme brulee sampler. Then, we got a tray of sweets: individual tiramisus and petit fours. Definitely worth it, definitely a go-back place. When we got home, Mr. Foodbabe opened his gifts from the boys: Golf ball/tee cufflinks from Firstie, and Duke Blue Devil cufflinks from the one still at home. And now, on with the show!
  18. Last night, my son put his fingertips together and tapped his forefingers thoughtfully on his chin, and said,"Hmmm. It's just a croissant, Mom. Let's get to what's reallllllly going on here. Are you upset that she disrespected the food, or YOU?" Kid has a point. And Kim, you are a much nicer person than I am, giving the benefit of the doubt. I failed to mention that the croissant was black in those spots ... and that I'd ordered two and the other one was fine. We are still searching for the SnakeyBoy file -- he's in there somewhere. For six months most of our lives have been in boxes and we just yelled out into the mass, "SnakeyBoy, stay alive! We will find you!"
  19. But the rest of the afternoon ha been lovely. Bright and sunny; if I can easily get the photos off my camera, I'll add them here before I go out to exercise. I got a nice set of soft rolls through the first rise; they're in the freezer and will be fresh for Saturday. I think I'll make another batch with herbs tomorrow. One of the food stations will be filet and sides of poached salmon; what type of herbed rolls would be amazing with this? Rosemary, of course; I've never tried tarragon bread. Anyone?
  20. So earlier,I went into town. First stop was a "gourmet kitchen and crepery(sp?) that has been open for a few months, by a chef who owns another restaurant in town. I've heard amazing things about it. I walked in, and one person who looked lost was working. Three people were eating in and there was almost no food in the cases, and not another employee or sound in the place. I asked for a menu but they didn't have one. I asked about crepes but he didn't seem to understand me. I am not sure it would be fair to name the place or razz on them because it just didn't fit with what I'd heard about the place so many times before and honestly, the other restaurant is really nice. Bad day, maybe? I've had 'em. But I'll get back there another time, maybe tomorrow or Saturday. Up the road is a place that has been reported on several times, because the owner decided to make her cafe into a"Water Bar." Yes, I know, WTF, but I wanted to check it out. I think she's gotten ink in the Times and certainly in the local papers, for selling expensive waters in fancy bottles. Since my breakfast down the road was thwarted, I stopped in this cafe. It's warm, cozy, ten seats. Okay, it's tiny and has lots and lots and lots of stuff for sale, from Bodum press pots to chocolate-covered sunflower seeds to honey sticks to, ahem, water. The menu seemed to be mostly wraps and a few breakfast dishes. Only one person was working: the owner. I asked for two croissants with jam and Nutella. She was talking to some salesmen as she prepared this and at one point, set off the smoke alarm. Told me not to worry, it happens all the time, and mentioned to one of the salesmen, "that's what I get when I try to make garlic bread in something that's not made for garlic bread." Well, what set off the smoke alarm was the croissant she sold me and charged me for. Of course I didn't check the food before I got home. Who in the world would sell a burnt croissant to someone, while that person was standing right there? The questioin is: WWFeGD? (What Would Fellow eGers Do?) I'm inclined to do nothing. This was done by the owner, while I was standing right there in her kitchen. This is the way she does business, this is the way she respects the food she sells, and the customers she sells it to. If it were an overworked staff with people lined out the door, I'd feel a little differently about it. Not much, but some. What would you-all do?
  21. Today is Mr. Foodbabe's Birthday! He looked fabulous and I gave him a pinch -- he doesn't *feel* 50 to me! Dinner tonight is at 42, in the new Ritz-Carlton in White Plains. It's on the 42nd floor (how clever ). Seriously, we hear it's wonderful. We were going to go to Blue Hill at Stone Barns but he changed his mind at the last minute and, well, it's really not about me. (BH@SB is one of my favorites; I extern'ed there and then some, and Dan still treats me like royalty when we go. Plus, he said there was some great new stuff in the greenhouse ... ) Another person who did his externship with me at BH, but from a different school, is part of the restaurant group that owns 42. We bonded because we were both grownups (*our* talk for "older than most of the cooks' parents), and because he's a nice guy. So, time to scale the roll dough and get that proofing before I head into bustling Chappaqua. I also hear J-L and his own "Larry the Lobster" -- but his makes a bubbling sound when he bites it!
  22. Too funny, Kim! J-L just loves to be in the middle of things, too. His first task in the morning is to snuffle around the kitchen floor, looking for crumbs. Hoover, yes!
  23. Yeah, I do. As I've said before, I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies and more nutritional counseling than anyone should have to take! Yesterday couldn't be helped; I did pick at a chicken breast (poached) and had a diet Pepsi. I didn't think it was too horrible to have to miss coffee, because Peet's hadn't yet delivered and we only had grocery-store coffee beans. Mr. Foodbabe drank it anyway, but we all did the happy dance when the box arrived yesterday afternoon. We try to get a special blend every now and then; this is what we got in addition to Major Dickason's. This is the Yemeni Village Sampler. And no, I haven't tried the cat-poop coffee. I do have my limits! So, breakfast today was a wonderful cappuccino, some of my honey-wheat bread toasted with peanut butter and preserves. Mr. Foodbabe currently loves Eggo Flip-Flop waffles in brown sugar and cinnamon, so I've moved to whole wheat bread. I mentioned in the previous blog that this type of a.m. petit breakfast is what I had every day during two pregnancies: fiber, protein, fat, and a little bit of flavor. We really really like our glass mugs: They are Pessimist's Mugs, and say "This Mug is Half Empty." We get things like that from Despair, Inc. Yes, I know, it's juvenile but it just cracks us up. Our Coffee Mug collection grows by the day! When things calm down a little bit in town, I'm going in. Sounds a little like a battle, doesn't it? But with commuters and school buses early and dance classes and Ladies At Lunch later, if you don't want to gouge your eyes out, you have to time it just so. Chappaqua is still working on parking issues. Plus, if I wait a little longer, I won't get the salt bagel at the Chappaqua Town Market, which I'm craving, and which will no doubt result in a major bloat that will (a)prevent me from fitting into my clothing for dinner tonight, and (b) make Mr. Foodbabe's loving gaze turn to one of horror and, yes, despair.
  24. Uh .. uh ... I dunno. I have to ask my architect! Seriously, the space we used to have was something like 13 x 16. We are using some of what used to be a small sitting room. We got rid of a wall (which is when I fell in love with the flitch beams ). I'm going to post some before/after photos tomorrow. It doesn't look like the same house. If tomorrow is as beautiful weather-wise as we are promised, the light will show off the windows, the cabinets, and everything, so nicely.
  25. I found another cool bit of storage in my pass: the tall cabinets next to the oven/coffe center/warming drawer. I'd considered having just tall cabinets with room for brooms and such, but these pull-out shelves are much better. That shelf holds cofee beans, some popcorn and I think Instant Breakfast (kid likes it for those rare days he doesn't want to spend much time eating.) The cake is muy dense. OMG, it's like fudge, I think. I put it on a cake-board and wrapped it tight, and into the freezer. I have one of those monster Sub-Zero 48inchers, and I love it. Here's the left side, which is all freezer: The cake is on the second shelf down, sitting atop some pint containers of stock, tomato sauce, etc. Yes, that's pigs-in-a-blanket on top! Wieners Wellington, we call them. There's also the requisite Eggo waffles for the Mister, who can't start his day without one. The shelf below the cake has ice cream -- I think that's Americone Dream -- quarts of veal and beef stock, some frozen Black Bean Soup, and some frozen ground beefs. The bottom shelf has my big containers of stock, as well as shells and bones for more stock, and scraps of meat that will eventually become sausage. Of the bottom drawers, the first holds fish food, and now has IQF shrimp for Saturday And the bottom drawer is an icemaker; I added a 3-pan to hold more ice. I had considered getting a separate icemaker, but we really don't need it in this climate and this ice machine does a great job. Refrigerator shots are much better in the daylight, so I'll get to those in the a.m. Hope to have more in the way of actual eating in Chappaqua these next few days, when I'm done waiting for deliveries and workmen. Arrivederci, eGullet! Fabster
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